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School fee regulation committee a toothless tiger

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 22: In absence of an appropriate law, the School Fee Fixation Committee (SFFC) has been reduced to a toothless tiger whose orders on fee structure in private educational institutions carry no weight.
With the private schools already charging exorbitant fees, the SFFC itself admitted recently that the institutions were, of late, fleecing parents through “unjustifiable” fee heads.
The SFFC, in absence of an appropriate law, “cannot execute orders” it issues to the schools over fee regulation on paper periodically, Administrative Officer SFFC, Nazir-ul-Hussain Shah, told The Kashmir Monitor.
“The government is the executing agency. When we pass orders to a private school, the Director School Education and Chief Education Officers have to implement it,” Shah said.
“Even after we issue orders on fee regulation, there are violations. We have no powers to execute any order. In fact, there are instances of the private schools staying our orders through courts.”
A law on fee fixation, if made, would enable the SFFC to “determine and regulate” the fee structure at private schools in the state, Shah said.
“In absence of a law, the schools shield themselves through court stays, but when such a law comes into effect, it would not happen. We can even hold the Education Department accountable.”
“Wherever there is such a committee in other Indian states, there is an appropriate Act for fee regulation,” he said.
Most of the schools, Shah said, have failed to justify the hefty admission fee they charge from the students.
“Although a few schools have cited school construction for the hefty admission fee, the question is that constructions do not happen every time in schools. So, if a school takes, say, Rs 50, 000 as admission fee in one academic session, how is it justified to charge the same fee every year?” Shah asked.
Chairman SFFC, Justice (retd) Hakim Imtiyaz, said that a draft bill on fee regulation in private schools was with the Law Department for “vetting”.
With the government failing to introduce the related bill in the Assembly session that concluded recently, Hakim hoped that the government “passes the bill through an ordinance”.
The SFFC, he said was not satisfied with the district-level monitoring committees that were set up earlier to keep an eye on private schools’ fee structure, saying that there was a lack of feedback on part of the said committees.


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Kashmir

J&K Bank lowers interest rate on loans

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Dec 10: J&K Bank has lowered its marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.10 percent for various tenors. The move is in line with the regulators directions to pass on the benefit of reducing cost of funds to the borrowers.

The bank after reviewing the MCLR for different tenors lowered its benchmark one-year MCLR to 8.45 pc from 8.55 pc effective from December 10, 2019.

The marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) is the minimum interest rate that a bank can lend at and is a tenor-linked internal benchmark.

 

The Reserve Bank of India introduced the MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates from 1 April 2016. It replaced the base rate structure, which had been in place since July 2010.

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Kashmir

154 snow clearance machines stationed across Kashmir: Div Comm

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Srinagar, Dec 09: In view of inclement weather, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan today chaired a high level meeting to review arrangements made by the Line Departments.

The meeting was attended by Additional Commissioner, Kashmir, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Directors of Food, Education & Urban Local Bodies, Chief Engineers of PDD, PHE R&B and PMGSY, Commissioner SMC, Principal GMC, GM JKSRTC, SSP Traffic, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Joint Director Fire & Emergency, Staff Officer to IGP, SP (Headquarter), Deputy Directors of Health & MET, Superintending Engineers of MED & PDD, SP Traffic (Rural), Executive Engineers of MED, NHAI & BEACON, Senior officers of SKIMS, Project Head RAMKY and other concerned officers of Line Departments were present in the meeting whereas Deputy Commissioners of nine districts of the Kashmir division participated the meeting through video conferencing.

The Divisional Commissioner sought detailed feedback from Deputy Commissioners and officials of concerned Departments regarding stock position of essentials including food grains, LPG, Petrol, Kerosene oil. He also sought present status of electricity & water supply, buffer stock of power transformers, additional water tankers, deployment of snow clearance machines, functioning of Control Rooms of Line Department & Disaster Relief Centers and SDRF, besides heating arrangements in Hospitals, Medical supplies, presence of doctors and paramedic staff in health institutions.

 

The meeting also discussed present status of National Highway, Mughal Road & Srinagar-Leh Road, besides helicopter services and winter dumping of essentials in far-flung areas.

Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) informed the meeting that 154 snow clearance machines were already distributed among the districts.

The Divisional Commissioner directed Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) to gear up their men and machinery. He also directed them to position adequate number of snow clearance machines at various locations.

BEACON AND RAMKY was asked to ensure the timely deployment of men and machines on the Airport and National Highway for snow clearance. The concerned departments were asked to send location-wise details of snow clearance machines to the respective Deputy Commissioners immediately.

SMC Commissioner was directed to frame duty roaster for all Muncipal wards of the city indicating deployment of staff as well as machinery. He was asked to ensure that all measures are put in place to clear snow from lanes and bye-lanes besides deploying de-watering pumps in the low lying areas.

The Divisional Commissioner warned that no laxity in snow clearance operations will be tolerated and any delinquency in this regard will be stringently dealt with.

In order to avoid unscheduled power cuts, The Div Comm directed PDD to adhere to the power scheduled in letter and spirit besides ensuring to enhance the buffer stock of additional transformers at each district.

Chief Engineer PHE will ensure hassle free water supply to the public while augmenting water tanker service.

The Health authorities were asked to ensure adequate heating arrangements, while ensuring sufficient availability of medicines during the winter in all the health intuitions of Kashmir division.

Director Food was directed to ensure availability of kerosene oil to all districts as per schedule.

The Divisional Commissioner directed Deputy Commissioners to conduct surprise inspection of control rooms of concerned departments and ensure their round the clock functioning so that people get real time information about essential services. He directed the concerned DCs to ensure wide-publicity of contact numbers of Control Rooms though print and electronic media.

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Kashmir

Dulloo reviews progress on utility works of AIIMS Jammu, Srinagar

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Dec 9: Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo today chaired a meeting to review the progress on various utility works going on at the AIIMS institutes in Jammu and Srinagar.

The meeting discussed the land acquisition issues, construction of approach road, provision of water supply, electricity, construction of boundary wall and other related aspects of the project.

The FC enjoined upon the officers to work in tandem and close coordination to complete the utility and other construction works at both the places in a time bound manner.

 

The meeting was attended by various officials from Central Public Works Department, Public Health Engineering Department, Power Development Department, Public Works Department, Revenue Department, Director (Coordination), New Medical Colleges Jammu.

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